Unfortunately, in most cases this isn't realistic. Planning is increasingly becoming more and more complex. There are many different issues to consider, including policies set out in Neighbourhood Plans, Local Plans, national guidance and policy, plus case law and numerous other regulations that control development. Whether you are planning a home extension or a large residential or commercial site, any of these could affect whether you get planning permission or not. That's why it pays to get the best advice, instead of someone just telling you what you want to hear!
As such, providing reliable and accurate advice takes time and relies on our professional knowledge and experience.
Free advice - If you have a specific development or project in mind, please do send us details and we will provide a free, high-level opinion via email of what we consider your options to be, based on the information you provided together and some of the initial site searches that we will carry out. If possible, we will also provide a quote too. For some more complex projects, a site visit is sometimes essential or possibly a follow-up meeting (we can advise if we feel it is), but as shown in the FAQ's above, most of the time a site visit is either not practical or simply not really needed at this stage.
Paid-for advice - Alternatively, if you don't have a specific development in mind and want a professional opinion of what might be possible, or perhaps a site visit to discuss things in more detail, we may recommend one of our paid-for planning appraisals or provide you with a fee for providing further assistance.
We know that some clients will question this or expect us to visit their site on request. Again, from our experience we know that it is common to find other consultants that will work that way – for example, visiting a site and discussing lots of options, producing concept plans and even getting a planning application ready to submit. All without considering what, in planning terms, will actually be allowed!
That approach can work, sometimes, but it will also typically lead to the most important planning matters either getting checked last, or not considered at all. For the client, this risks considerable unexpected costs later on - or even finding out that there is a genuine showstopper that we could have told them about at the start!
Our approach is different, but we know it works. It ensures you understand the likely costs and any risks in the early stages of every project. The honest up-front advice we provide is reflected in our success rate, our repeat business with clients and in the reviews they leave us.